Monday, March 15, 2004

I've been blogging for a while now, and I do find that it is quite addictive. It's part of my sense of connection to the rest of the world. People feel this way about e-mail and chat too, I think. So when you can't blog, you really notice it!

Obviously I can still access this account. But I have another blog - a humorous one - with another host. They've been upgrading it or have been having major trouble for the last day or so. Every time I log on, I get this notice, about it being down for 30 minutes, and "sorry for the inconvenience".

It's really getting to me. I'm a little worried that some of my recent posts, which I didn't save onto a floppy, may have been lost. (Although do think that's fairly unlikely. I think it's probably their main server that's down, or something.)

But it's not just the anxiety of not knowing what will happen, it's also the feeling of not being able to write what you want at a particular time!

Sunday, March 14, 2004

I was thinking again about this flyer to web-page technique:

I know it works, because I've used it to get visitors to my home page, and those of others. Over several months I've probably done about 6 000 flyers, and have probably got about 150 to 200 hits from it. It's not a great ratio. But from all the hits I received after posting (that came from "unknown") I came to that estimate.

I was also lucky enough to put one in an computer mag editor's letterbox, and he ran a little story on it, with a photo of the actual flyer. I would have got dozens if not hundreds of hits from that on its own.

So, working backwards, if I had been selling something directly off my home page, and my visitors were going there because of the interest in the product, I would certainly have sold a few of these at least.

Obviously this technique is not going to be the part of your business that pulls in the profit but it can certainly pay for your stationery! The profit with this technique comes from you actually delivering other people's junk mail.
I have been thinking of how to most effectively promote stuff. Obviously there is a lot you can do online with free classifieds, paid classifieds, etc. But there's also delivering flyers as well. The key (obviously) is to get people to actually go to your site. Then they can learn more about your product or service.

I've been dropping flyers for a while just to promote my homepage and other blogs. I've found this is a surprisingly effective method. (I think I may have mentioned this.)

Last night I was thinking of a way to make flyer delivery most effective, and profitable. Her's the plan I came up with:

The first thing you've got to do is get paid to walk and deliver someone else's flyers. There are heaps of companies that will employ you, always putting ads in local papers. But the money is poor for the amount of effort. (Here in Oz it's usually around 20 bucks for the first thousand of one flyer, 10 or 15 for the next flyer, etc. So if you do 500 letterboxes, with 2 flyers, you might only make 15 dollars. Not much for the effort. But still, it's a start.)

So, the thing you do is put one of your own flyers in with the catalogues they give you. So you're getting someone else to pay you to promote your own website at no extra effort. (There is cost for your stationery, but you can photocopy A4 sheets that will each produce 4 or even 5 small flyers. So it's not very expensive - especially if you have your own photocopier, or can use one at work!)

So, you are promoting your own stuff. And this should hopefully result in a sale or 2 eventually.

But you can make this technique still more effective. On the other side of the flyer you put an ad describing your service as a letterbox dropper yourself. If you do a thousand letterboxes, you're sure to get a few hits to your site, and you're also sure to get at least one individual or company that wants you to deliver flyers for them.

If you get one extra catalogue to deliver next time or down the track, then you've certainly increased, perhaps even doubled your earnings for that flyer run - even if you don't sell any products from your site.

The other effect is psychological: If you're being paid better to deliver more flyers, then you become more energised. The more you deliver, the more you earn, and also the more delivery work you get out of it! The other bonus is that you're also getting fit as you do it.

Anyway, that's the plan. I don't see any reason why it shouldn't work!

Friday, February 20, 2004

I've been trying to get more hits to my ebook site. Haven't yet done the search engine submission thing - no time. But I have added some other stuff to it, which might help with getting some readers in.

I've put a page up which includes a list of free classifieds sites. I've listed this page on some other classifieds sites, in the hope that the kind of people who will go to it might also want to buy the CD.

The page is here if you want to have a look.

Saturday, January 31, 2004

I called this blog "The Numbers Game" because I thought that best summed up what business actually is. I now realise that I was spot on. I've placed a few ads for the Ebook Library, and I've dropped several hundred flyers. But I've had only a few hits to my site now. I haven't sold any of them yet. I wasn't expecting to make a million overnight, but I was hoping for a little more response than that!

It seems to me that you've just got to keep slogging away with it and do an enormous amount of promotion before it really starts paying dividends. (Or paying anything at all, for that matter!)

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

As I gradually get my head around this whole capitalism thing, I keep seeing all these opportunites for making money.

For instance, there must be millions yet to be made in combatting spam. Obviously, spam filter sales are booming. But the filters are not entirely effective. There's still a lot that gets through. I was thinking, surely there would be a lot of busy people who would be willing to pay for a complete spam riddance service - that is, an actual person to go through their accounts occasionally and delete the unwanted e-mails that have gone through?

Obviously this would be hard to sell, since the client would have to have absolute certainty that those people were trustworthy. But I think you could do it. Market it right (particularly to corporations) on a big scale, with all your staff given some sort of honesty certificate from the appropriate government department. There'd be megabucks to be made there, I reckon.

You watch. Someone will do it - if they haven't already.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Just a couple more thoughts on technology: It's amazing how dependant I am on it. And I think I'm also mildly addicted to the internet, as many people are. When that link to the information superhighway goes for whatever reason, I get quite tetchy. (I don't fall aprt of course. I can always go for a walk, or do some writing on my PC - but even that requirtes functioning technology!)

So I do think that a lot of this new economy is being driven by a kind of addiction. There is a (very mild) thrill in logging onto the internet that is a big part of the attraction. You're connected to this vast, amazing network. When you're off it, you're kind of alone, in the wilderness.

There's also a real sense of urgency about getting on it, staying on it, and keeping up with it. It really is a whole new way of living, and it's only going to become more intense, immediate, and (in some ways) demanding.

Friday, January 16, 2004

It was ironic that my last post was about how cheap cyber-technology is, because today that very fact came in handy. When I woke up this morning I switched on the my PC and logged on to the internet, as I always do. I grabbed my freshly brewed cup of cawfee and placed it on the desk next to the keyboard. But being still decaffeinated, and a little dopey as a result, I spilled the cup on the table and over the keyboard.

I freaked out because some ran under the main body of the hard drive. I immediately shut it down and mopped up as much as I could. Everything seemed okay, but when I started typing again the "caps lock" button kept beeping when I pressed it, signalling some sort of short-circuit.

I decided to leave the keyboard to dry, thinking that once the coffee had evaporated, there'd no longer be a problem. But this only made things worse. I really started to panic then, dreading that maybe it was a hard drive problem.

But it was easily fixed. I just went into an Officeworks and got a new keyboard for only 20 bucks. Everything works fine again. And I can breathe a helluva lot easier.

I do find that having a very, er, delicate metabolism (typical arty type) these little things can really put me off balance for a while. But the great thing is that PCs being assembled as they are, all that needs to be done is to replace the defective piece.

Even if I the whole thing were to clunk out at once, I could get a whole new (or at least refurbished) PC with Windows 98 for under 400 bucks, and be up and running the next day. So, I shouldn't worry at all. (Petty that I should, actually.)

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